July 1 marks the beginning of my fourth year at Rolling Hills UMC. July 15th is my birthday. But these are not the only two happy milestones being marked in my life at the moment. There is an additional, and rather monumental, significant event in the works. I am planning to be married!
When I arrived at RHUMC I had been officially single for ten years. In those years my two daughters completed high school and college. One earned a Master’s degree and deepened her devotion to wilderness places; the other moved to a different country, started a business and fell in love with the man who is now her husband. I was happily immersed in ministry with the wonderful people of Pacific Beach UMC, and they supported me in earning my Doctor of Ministry. I learned a lot about myself in those years; I experienced God as steadfast and faithful.
Moving to a new part of Southern California, from a parsonage big enough for a family to an apartment just for me, and joining the staff of a church more than twice the size of my previous congregation represented lots of change for me. You all have been generous and encouraging in sharing your lives, faith, and wisdom as I learned to make a home here among you. I already felt tremendously blessed, and then, a little more than a year ago, my heart began to open to something else that was new: a special relationship.
Those of you who know Bob Chamberlin know of his personal integrity, his dedication to the church, his deep curiosity about the Bible and the world, his willingness to share his gifts in service to what he values and believes, his compassion toward those who are struggling, and his wonderful sense of humor. I am delightedly and profoundly grateful for Bob’s suggestion and invitation that we join our lives together going forward. I must admit we are both rather astonished to find ourselves on this unexpected adventure together. I thank all of you for sharing our joy as we anticipate a wedding in late December at our beloved RHUMC.
In the peace of Christ,